To hold a funeral service against the deceased's wishes?
November 7, 2011 6:43 AM   Subscribe

To hold a funeral service against the deceased's wishes?

Generally I've heard of cases where a funeral or memorial was held despite the deceased's wishes in opposition. I understand that we feel the need to celebrate or memorialize the dead, but is this disrespectful? What about erecting a gravestone without specific instructions for or against?
posted by biwa-shu to Human Relations (4 answers total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: There doesn't seem to be a specific problem or issue to solve here; just asking people if they feel this is disrespectful is basically chatfilter. -- taz

I think that if the deceased left no instructions for or against a funeral or a gravestone, it's fine to go with the wishes of the surviving family members. If the deceased explicitly said no funerals or memorials, it is disrespectful to turn around and have one.
posted by crankylex at 6:45 AM on November 7, 2011

Definitely disrespectful. I would try to go with what the deceased wanted, or what the family thinks he/she would have wanted based on instructions or stated wishes or beliefs.
posted by DoubleLune at 6:47 AM on November 7, 2011

Since I don't believe in souls, I have a hard time believing that anything can be disrespectful to the dead. However, we can certainly be disrespectful to their friends and family who hold him or her in memory.

When I was a teen, I went to a funeral where my friend's father was buried against his (verbally) stated wishes - he doesn't care, of course, he's dead - but it was very traumatic for his children, and led to a rift in the family. Respecting the stated wishes of the deceased seems like the best metric to alleviate inter-family strife in a really tough and stressful situation.
posted by muddgirl at 6:49 AM on November 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

For lots of people, funerals are part of the grieving/healing process. I don't see a problem if the family/loved ones want a funeral service for their own needs. If the deceased explicitly said "no funerals", well, that's kind of an asshole stunt if funerals are important to the surviving loved ones. Plus, the dead are dead and don't have any sway on us. There's nothing there to suffer disprespect.
posted by Sternmeyer at 6:50 AM on November 7, 2011

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